This post has been moved from the forums so that we could refer users to this url when asking similar questions.
The following questions were originally asked by JamieH:
1. How much science is there behind the spacing of the 5x2k, Long run and 6x1k in the programme, with respect to each-other? They all occur within 6 days… and right at the start of the cycle. If, for example, I was to leave 9 days between the 2k’s & 1k’s and do the ‘Longest Run’ the day after the 1k’s – does that really screw up the programme?
1. The program has a very definite reason for having the bulk of the training placed in this order. This is related to compensation and super compensation. The intention is to teach the body a rhythm related to the training.
By providing overload the body tries to compensate for the fatigue, stimulating the body to recover. Once this process is started, say via the 2k session, which in fact is a 10k pace session and develops ‘speed endurance’. Achieving this training zone is sufficiently stimulated via the short rest, allowing the pulse to work at exactly the right range to achieve this training requirement.
The long run is aerobic based and is achieved by running at a pulse range which is entirely different to the 2k session. With development you in fact achieving the training while recovering. There is still variation to come once the athlete develops. The long run requires recovery again however you have not taxed the system in the same way as the 2k session. And it must be noted that the long run is normally done over the weekend, as there is a time factor involved to cover the distance or ‘time’ required to meet the aerobic requirements.
The body then attempts to assist in the recovery process.
Once the 6 x 1k session comes; this is 5k pace training. The body starts to super compensate as it realises that it is not being provided with the rest it requires.
Once it moves to this level the program then starts to drop down to the lower levels of intensity, leading to recovery towards the end of the week.
By the end of week 3, the body should be on a different level and ready for a test. With the process we training the body to respond.
Also note there is a great deal more to the program structure once you have been through a few cycles. This then provides for the Build up period and the next level of development. more on this later.
Hopefully this assists in answering question 1
2. I have found it very difficult to run the 400’s at required pace (76-78s). I consistently seem to come in 4-5s faster as I feel so good by this point in the program. How detrimental is that likely to be? I guess what I’m really asking is: is the main point of this session ‘pacing’ i.e. keeping yourself under control? Or is it just about having a blast and feeling confident about your fitness?
2. It can be detrimental, as the idea is to achieve a higher level of the feel good factor and running at a pace quicker can place the legs under a stress that can lead to a tweaked hamstring and related complications.
The program changes as you develop with further balance and a slightly higher workload coming in the form of the staple 1hr run being introduced after the build up and new levels.
3. A staple of my training before finding this programme was my Sunday 90 minuter. I’ve been squeezing this in around the programme – but I wondered what you’re thought’s were on a weekly proper long run… since it only features once per cycle on the programme?
3. Because the program is made available on the internet and not on a 1 and 1 basis where we meet the athlete for the quality sessions and we are able to assess the athlete, we have recommended those runs. In your case, do continue with the 90 minute runs, especially if the runs are aerobic in nature.
There is a great deal more to these programs however these changes only occur with development. Hillwork, rolling hills, paced runs etc etc
so enjoy and welcome to the programs and hopefully the replies assist in your further development
I shall hope to elaborate further on this over time
Author: Gavin Doyle
Wouter saysSeptember 9, 2019 at 11:19 am
Would also be possible to mainly focus your training for a couple of cycles on the
sessions only between day 1 and 9 , if you are plan to have a race in 4 months time ?
Or will there be more progress if you follow the complete cycle, and to a test run on race day ?
timeadmin saysSeptember 9, 2019 at 3:45 pm
Hi Wouter, the programs are progressive and also have the off-period program and the build-up program, so we recommend going through the 3 week 10k cycle, so that you learn to train your body to perform on the day you race. So it would be good to do a test at the end of the 3 week cycle. Some athletes adapt very quickly to the rhythm of the programs while others take longer.
Hopefully this answers your question sufficiently
Wouter saysSeptember 10, 2019 at 9:51 am
Thank you for your clear answer. I have read that on average a break is recommended doing the cycles after 3-4 months. How many cycles do you recommend before a main event where you want to deliver your best performance ?
timeadmin saysMarch 11, 2020 at 8:10 am
Hi Wouter, apologies, I some how missed your last question. In answer, depending on what level runner your are and your experience in running, can determine how quickly you get results. Sometimes a less experienced runner can jump to a new level off 1 or 2 cycles, whereas a more experienced runner can take a little longer. We recommend the 4k time-trial at the start of the program, as that determines your current state of fitness, so if you run a 4k time-trial after 2 or 3 cycles, you will have something to compare to which is current and not related to previous PB’s.
The programs do work and many massive PB’s have been achieved off the cycles
Top performances are 10k – 28:43 and 21k – 62:26
So they have been used successfully from the bottom to the top